On Thursday, April 30th, eight Israeli protesters were arrested while nonviolently expressing solidarity with New Profile, a feminist organization that’s speaking out against the militarization of Israeli society.

A little background: the Israeli government has been harassing members of New Profile for a few weeks now. In late April, a number of New Profile members had their laptops confiscated and were forced to sign agreements stating that they wouldn’t contact their political friends for 30 days. Now that people are speaking out against the confiscations and coercion, this is the response:

Jewish protesters get off easy, though, compared to their Palestinian counterparts. Samieh Jabrin, a Palestinian activist protesting the West Bank wall, was arrested at a nonviolent demonstration three months ago and remains under house arrest, still awaiting trial. The Israeli protesters arrested on the 30th were released in under 24 hours. Dorothy from New Profile, who attended a solidarity rally for Samieh, writes that “The story is the same when individuals are detained in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Internationals who are detained might be deported, but Israelis seldom are jailed, and if they are, not for long. It’s a very different story for Palestinians…. So it goes in the only democracy in the Middle East. Justice? Not for Palestinians. Oh no, indeed no.”

Since we’re all talking sustainability these days, let me ask you – how long is a system of violent control sustainable? In the US, violence against demonstrators, immigrants, people of color, and people who fit into more than one category is routine – but the more our governments act like villains, the more they galvanize the very people they’re trying to erase.

Please donate to New Profile and help offset their legal fees. Also, see the following press release (courtesy of Dorothy from New Profile) about yet another series of arrests at a nonviolent protest:

Friday, 1 May 2009: Seven arrested during non-violent demonstration in Umm Salamouna

Residents gathered at 1.30 pm for a weekly demonstration near the village of Al-Ma’sara in protest of the Apartheid Wall that was built on Palestinian land in the villages of Al-Ma’sara, Um Salamouna, Jourat Ash-Sham’ah and Mrah Mu’ala.

Israeli forces began to throw sound and tear-gas grenades at the demonstrators, before arresting protesters at 2pm. Additionally, several of the arrested were severley assaulted by soldiers after their arrest.

The army arrested three members of the Al-Ma’sara Committee against the Wall and Settlements; Hasan Buriejieyah, Mohammad Buriejieyah and Mahmoud Sawahre. Additionally, Israeli forces arrested Mustafa Fuara; a resident of Al-Ma’sara, Azmi Ash-Shyukhi; a resident of Hebron, Haggai Matar; an Israeli solidarity activist and Tom Stocker, a British national volunteering with the Holy Land Trust.

Matar and Stocker were released on bail with conditions of not entering the West Bank for two weeks and must pay 1,500 NIS each as bail on Sunday.

The five Palestinians who were arrested remain in the Israeli prison in Gush Etzion.

Please Contact:
Haggai Matar (English & Hebrew) 052-388-1213

For general information:
Sasha Solanas, ISM media office (Russian & English) 054-903-2981